Student-run podcast provides guidance and inspiration for aspiring artists – The Brock News


What started as an exciting project for two Brock University students looking for career advice has grown into a solid podcast series providing invaluable insights for the next generation of creators.

Produced for students by students, the popular podcast Dear Marilyn is now in its second season of connecting the student community with professional artists, with plans to continue production on an ongoing basis.

Created in 2021 by drama students (DART) Danielle Letourneau and Luca D’Amico, the name of the podcast pays tribute to the famous textile artist, philanthropist and arts advocate Marilyn I. Walker. In 2008, Walker made a historic donation to Brock which led to the establishment of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

Letourneau, the podcast producer who is now in her fourth year of college with a major in drama and education and a minor in history, says she often felt anxious about entering in theater as a profession.

“I started this podcast to give students like me a resource for practical advice on the job,” Letourneau said. “The arts industry isn’t always seen as the most conventional career path, but we do it because it’s what we love. the arts nourish our souls.

Supported by Dean Carol Merriam of the Faculty of Humanities through the Dean’s Discretionary Fund in 2021, the Associate Dean of Fine and Performing Arts and MIWSFPA Department Chairs, the Dear Marilyn The team invites local and surrounding artists from various artistic disciplines to share their stories.

Co-hosts Hayley Bando, a second-year drama major with a concentration in production and design, and Chloe Racho, a third-year music major with a minor in French studies, are excited to be part of the project.

“We are honored to help bring these diverse perspectives on career paths in the arts to the Brock community,” Bando said.

Recent podcast guests include actor, writer and producer Thet Win, voice actor Keegan Vaillancourt and singer-songwriter Glenn Marais.

MIWSFPA faculty have been supportive since day one, with Karen Fricker, an associate professor of drama, championing the idea of ​​the podcast in its early days.

“I was happy to support Dear Marilyn first because it is a great idea and a positive student-led project during the difficult times of the pandemic,” she said. “I looked forward to each episode and was entertained and educated by the hosts’ sparkling exchanges with the guests.”

DART Associate Professor Gyllian Raby guided the grant proposal for Dear Marilyn resulting in the expansion of the podcast to include all four departments of the Downtown Arts Campus (Drama, Music, Visual Arts, and Center for Arts and Culture Studies).

“What’s not to like Dear Marilyn? This ties directly to our mission to create experiential and professionalized learning for students producing, hosting, editing and broadcasting,” Raby said. “And it’s entertaining and insightful.”

DART Associate Professor Danielle Wilson worked with the team on the second season. The episodes are edited by Alex Sykes, a fourth-year DART student with a concentration in production and design.

Available on Spotify, the next episode will go live this week. For the latest news, follow Dear Marilyn on Instagram.

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